It’s day 2 of the #EVOOChallenge. This challenge, in which we make foods with the only cooking fat being olive oil, was issued by Spartan Olive Oil. The goal is to highlight the benefits of using olive oil over its less healthy counterparts, I’m looking at you butter and vegetable oil. Search the hashtag on social media to see more great recipes!
While both olive oil and vegetable oil have 120 Calories and 14 grams of fat per tbsp, olive oil has 10 grams of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) whereas vegetable oil has only 3 grams of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is actually good for your health; it reduces bad cholesterol and provides vitamin E. (Source: American Heart Association)
This unfiltered extra-virgin olive oil is made from the olives of 700 year old trees in Sparta, Greece. The flavorful oil has a rich golden color and smooth texture. I wanted to highlight the nutty, fruity flavor of the oil in my recipes this week.
One of the cookbooks I got for Christmas is The Chef Next Door by Amanda Freitag. While flipping through it for the first time we came across a recipe for Shallot Confit. I knew I just had to try it for this challenge! The recipe calls for a mix of olive and canola oils, but as that would go against the rules I omitted the canola oil. I was a little nervous about omitting the canola oil and didn’t think substituting was the right way to go either. I opted with using fewer shallots than called for. And it worked.
These shallots would be incredible as a pizza topping, would add a little something extra to a sandwich, and could even work well in an onion dip. I decided to add them to salad. And as a bonus I used some of the oil in a vinaigrette!
The shallots will keep up to two weeks in the oil.
Winter Salad with Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 4 whole shallots, peeled and trimmed
- 1 C + 1 tbsp olive oil, divided use
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 oz balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
- mixed baby greens (I used spinach, swiss chard, and arugula)
- crumbled Feta cheese
- cooked, crumbled bacon
- pear, sliced
- Make shallot confit: Place shallots in a small saucepan with 1 C oil to cover. Add the thyme, peppercorns, and S+P. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce heat to low and cook 25 minutes until shallots are easily pierced. Allow shallots to cool. Store in fridge, covered.
- Roast chickpeas: Lay chickpeas out on a clean towel and pat dry. Remove any lose skins. Leave chickpeas out until completely dried, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay chickpeas out on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 40 minutes, or until crunchy. Toss roasted chickpeas in 1 tbsp oil. Add the garlic powder and a little salt to taste.
- Make dressing: Put 3 oz of the shallot confit oil in a jar with the balsamic vinegar, Dijon, and S+P. Shake until combined.
- Assemble salad: Top greens with Feta, bacon, pears, chopped shallot confit, and roasted chickpeas. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
*The shallot recipe is adapted from The Chef Next Door*
*The chickpea recipe is adapted from Debbie at http://www.madefrompinterest.net/roasted-chickpeas-recipe/*
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